Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Dragon Warriors: Role Playing Consequences

Legend is a world with consequences. That's part of the appeal. One of, in fact the main reason we play Dragon Warriors  is love of the setting. It's that authentic dark age/early medieval feel (excepting the beliefs of folklore and myth are probably true.) So, maintaining belief in the power of the church and the integrity of the feudal system are important. The player characters might be the protagonists but the social order reigns supreme. It's something that doesn't normally sit well with our modern mindset. Equality, or the struggle towards it is a huge part of our world. In the fantasy world of Legend there is no equality. In fact the laws of the land exist to ensure that. Supposedly feudal obligations work both ways but it's never the peasants feasting on venison and quaffing fine wines in the high castle. Of course the player characters exist outside of this structure as lordless wanderers, vagabonds and barbarians. Players don't like to kowtow to NPCs, this is one of the earliest things we learn as a GM. However if you fail to show the proper respect to the duke, well, he's going to do something about it. This is dangerous ground. Most PCs will fight to the death rather than submit to capture. It's not great roleplaying but very few people sign up for an RPG to feel powerless. 

And so this brings us to the central tension of our last session of Dragon Warriors. Rolof the Mercanian, had occasion to affront a member of the local gentry. He manhandled him out of the bed of the village alewife and threw him out into the dirt in just his small clothes. Now Rolof knew this man to be Sir Grathan, lord of the manor from the next village, but he was on a roll of sorts and didn't listen to the warnings of his compatriots. However the following morning Sir Grathan returns, this time armed and armoured, and with six men at arms in tow. They seize Rolof, who acquiesces without a fight, and drag him outside. The villagers are roused in the process. Although their friend Father Caedric attempts to intercede on his behalf, the affronted knight will have none of it. He passes sentence, considering himself to be merciful he will only slit Rolof's nose. This does not go down well with the players. Rolof refuses to have his nose slit and begins to try and fight his way free. His companions join him, even though they don't fancy the odds and there are murmurs of TPK...

It's swords drawn. Things have escalated quickly and at the spilling of blood, well, that'll be the point of no return. The tension is palpable. However, in a remarkable change of heart Rolof agreed to submit to the punishment. His nose was slit, he was permanently disfigured, but everyone lives to fight another day. 

Role playing was the winner overall.

It doesn’t end there though, as Rolof privately swears vengeance on Sir Grathan. When he learns later that his enemy has a long standing feud with another knight of equal status, he decides to seek this individual out and offer his services...

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